People close to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange held private meetings with Russian officials last year to discuss a potential plan to help Assange escape the Ecuadorian embassy in London and flee to another country, The Guardian reported Friday.
The plan involved giving Assange diplomatic records and smuggling Assange out of the embassy in London on Christmas Eve in 2017. He was then reportedly going to be ferried in a diplomatic vehicle out of the UK.
Russia was one of the final destination options for Assange, according to sources who shared information with the Guardian. The plot was tabled after it was deemed too treacherous, but the planned escape orchestrated by the Russians reveals deeper links between Assange and the Kremlin.
While Assange has maintained that he did not receive the stolen Democratic National Committee emails — that were posted on WikiLeaks — from the Russians, special counsel Robert Mueller has filed charges against a slew of Russian intelligence officials for allegedly hacking the DNC servers.
Read the Guardian’s full report on the escape plan here.